PfPC’s Combating Terrorism Working Group Leads Seminar on Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Skopje, Macedonia

SKOPJE, Macedonia (8 November, 2017) – The Republic of Macedonia, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the United States Embassy in Macedonia co-hosted the Partnership for Peace Consortium’s (PfPC) Combating Terrorism Working Group (CTWG). The Working Group led a leading-edge simulation exercise entitled “Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Promoting Prevention and Resilience,” from November 7 to November 9, 2017.

This exercise engaged the participants by allowing them to role play various government entities, as well as radical elements, in a realistic scenario that responded to a crisis situation.  The simulation allowed the participants to make real-time decisions, as well as to study the outcomes in a post-simulation academic forum.

The seminar began with opening remarks from H.E. Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, H.E. Jess Baily, U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, H.E. Nina Suomalainen, Head of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, and Mr. Borche Petrevski, National CT/CVE Co-ordinator, Republic of Macedonia.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev stressed, “This conference is one of the most effective methods that allows us to fight the radical terrorism that threatens all human kind.” He added, “The fight against these threats should not know any nationality or religion – we must fight this threat as one.”

Seminar participants included: the PfPC-CTWG co-chair, Richard Prosen, a Foreign Affairs Officer with the U.S. Department of State; Prof. Frosina Remenski, the elected Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security of the Republic of Macedonia; Mr. Arben Ramkaj, President of the Interreligious Council, Elbasan; Mr. Filip Stojkovski, Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Macedonia; and, Dr. Edit Schlaffer, Founder, Women Without Borders. The event was moderated by the PfPC-CTWG co-chair, Dr. Peter Forster, Associate Dean, Penn State Universitz. (Photo by Karl-Heinz Wedhorn)